T Nation

531 Problems


#1

Man o man so I am definitely getting stronger after 3 solid weeks in the gym. I am in no way new to lifting weights but this is the first time in awhile that I have put lifting at the front of the line in terms of goals and priority. Anyways I am doing Wendlers 5-3-1 Program and its going really great but I think I may have underestimated my maxes when I first set out three weeks ago. For example I had originally put my maxes at these numbers:
SQ-320
DL-320
BENCH-270
OH Press-175

Anyways long story short after 3 weeks this happened:
Squat- 315 for 9 reps, my last set was supposed to be 1 rep at 270 but i knew it wasn't enough
DL- 355 for 6 reps, last set should have been 1 for 270 as well
Bench-260x5 reps, pretty close in terms of where i should be, not worried about moving the max.
OH Press- 155 for 7 reps, pretty close too. Not worried about moving the max


#2

That’s not a problem, that’s the way the program is supposed to work. Keep at it using the 5 forward 3 back mesocycle strategy and you’ll be making gains for a long time. I’m currently on my 18th cycle and I’m still doing double the reps on the last work set almost every week.


#3

Awesome, good to know. So should I adjust my maxes accordingly at this time? Unfortunately when I started they were just rough estimates but now I feel like I have some solid numbers to go off of. I feel like I can scale it back so that I do not overload myself but I think my current guestimates will cause me to not gain as much as I could have. If that even makes sense.

Thanks for the reply btw. I just found this site today and it has alot of great information.


#4

[quote]CommoSoldier wrote:
…but I think my current guestimates will cause me to not gain as much as I could have.[/quote]

I would very much advise you to rid yourself of that way of thinking. Slow progression and a light start are the hallmarks of 531. Try to see the big picture! Long-term progress is always better than short-term progress. In the end, you will get there, whether or not you might have been off by 10% with your starting TMs won’t matter at all in just a few cycles.

I’m in cycle 8 now after 7 1/2 months and I have yet to run into any sort of problems. What once seemed like unattainable weight now lies below my training maxes. I still consistently hit around 10 Reps (beltless) on 5+ days, 7-10 Reps on 3+ days, and at least 5 reps on 1+ days. So in that regard nothing has changed since week one.

Anyway, take home message: think long term (years!), don’t rush, and enjoy the ride!


#5

Awesome, thanks for that and it does make alot of sense. I guess I was just being greedy haha. Thank you all for the input


#6

I don’t think these are 531 problems. That would mean you were following the simple principles that are outlined in the book.

I don’t expect everyone to believe or follow these principles. But as far as the 531 program, for it to work, you need to follow them. It’s the heart and soul of the program. If you believe in other principles, that is great! Follow your heart and what you believe.


#7

True, I suppose maybe they were more of personal problems related to lack of paying attention and stressing over the little things. Either way thanks for the support on the topic.


#8

Oh and it’s 5+, 3+, 1+ work sets. You do as many reps as possile while not failing.

For me, if my 1rms are where I say they are I get 9/7/5 reps on the last sets. If I get more than that, I’ve gotten stronger or if I have more weight on the bar and do the 9/7/5 reps, I’ve gotten stronger.

There are no 5/3/1 problems other than dudes not actually doing 5/3/1 as Jim wrote about in one of his many books.


#9

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
There are no 5/3/1 problems other than dudes not actually doing 5/3/1 as Jim wrote about in one of his many books. [/quote]

This.

There are no problems with 5/3/1, only problems with people doing 5/3/1


#10

[quote]dagill2 wrote:

[quote]StrengthDawg wrote:
There are no 5/3/1 problems other than dudes not actually doing 5/3/1 as Jim wrote about in one of his many books. [/quote]

This.

There are no problems with 5/3/1, only problems with people doing 5/3/1
[/quote]

LOL


#11

Does anyone use the rep/max formula anymore?
If you are using this to measure your strength none of this really matters - like the weight used - since you can actually lift a lighter weight and with the right amount of reps still get stronger.